Social Distancing Comforting Film Recommendations

We’re back with another one of these social distancing articles, darling readers except this time, we’re specifying the word comforting to give you recommendations of some of the sweetest films ever made. I’ll be frank, I’ve left out some of the comfort films I actually turn to because they aren’t exactly “happy.” (Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor Ragnarok, and basically all Marvel films.) This is a list compilation of classics, sweet romance dramas, some sci-fi, and an even an action film. It’s a list of movies I adore deeply and have rewatched multiple times when needing an escape from reality. I hope you’ll find joy in them, too.

  1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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“Do you suppose it’s possible for us to belong to someone before we’ve met them? If so, I belong to you or you to me, or me simply to the spirit I found among you in Guernsey. […] And hope that if books do have the power to bring people together, this one may work its magic.”

“Yes, yes I do suppose – and that’s certainly the case with a film as remarkably captivating as this one. If you know anything about me, I hope it’s how much I adore a story of triumph and adventure cobbled with a romance that’s to be treasured for all eternity. I’m a complete sap, that’s a given, but The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is the first period-drama film I’ve ardently adored since Jane Austen adaptations. And that seems oddly fitting because the film’s very own hero/writer is a fan of the beloved Miss Austen, too. Win win. The film takes us on the kind of enamoring adventure of finding oneself through another’s story, and isn’t that how we all find inspiration every now and then? The stories we hear, the people we meet, and the journeys we embark on. The film adaptation of Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow’s novel of the same title is an exquisite masterpiece filled with a stunning cast and pleasant twists to the story’s original format. The riveting cinematography, astounding performances, and thought-provoking themes have given us something truly great to hold onto.” I’ve written about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in the past and I’ve even recorded a podcast episode of it, too. That’s how much I adored the film when it first released and I can say that I still adore it just as much if not more today. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve watched the film and every time it ends,  I’m filled with the same type of magic that I felt the first time. It is in my Top 10 films of all time and I won’t rest until everyone I know has seen its magic, too.

Where To Watch: (Streaming) NETFLIX

2. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

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Despite my choice not to publicly write about it in great length and detail, my love for the Star Wars films shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but this choice tends to be unexpected when people hear it. Hear me out, if you haven’t watched the Star Wars films, now’s certainly the time to start, but if you have, Return of the Jedi is the most comforting of all films. It’s the triumphant story of redemption, love, togetherness, and the cutest darn teddy bears to exist. Porgs? No. Ewoks. Ewoks above all things. That’s how I roll. Before the cuteness of The Child, more commonly known as “Baby Yoda” Ewoks were the cutest part of Star Wars and they still are. Return of the Jedi is as light as Star Wars gets, and before we know how the Skywalker story ended, it gave us the kind of heartfelt ending necessary. There are so many moments throughout the film that make me weep. (“I have a funny feeling I’m not gonna see her again.”) But there are also moments that make my heart so full. It’s ridiculous and dare I say, extremely underrated.

Where To Watch: (Streaming) DISNEY +

3. Little Women (2019)

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I was excited for this movie when we got the trailer but I never imagined how much I’d love it and I never imagined it ending up on a Top 10 list of mine. Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the classic novel might just be my favorite to date because of how beautifully real women are brought to life in their good, bad, and ugly. Little Women isn’t the happiest story, but it’s a story that reminds us of how important it is to follow our dreams. It’s a story that reiterates just how resilient women are, not in the possession of superpowers, but in their kindness and bravery solidifying the fact that it takes far more strength to be kind in the midst of anger than it does to lash out. It’s a timeless story that reminds us of the fact that true love matters more than wealth, and it’s a timeless story that perfectly encapsulates the importance of our truths and our stories.

“Louisa May Alcott’s characters are magic, each in their own unique way representing the kind of woman that’s perhaps in all of us. Gerwig’s adaptation has thus far been the strongest ode to the very complexities that are so acutely reflective of who we are today, while bringing forward a version of the book that feels so true to the story Alcott’s been telling from day one. In this version of Little Women, we’re given the chance to see each of the girls in a way past adaptations didn’t get to showcase, and in doing so, it’s given all those watching, the chance to see that there’s greatness in us all.”

Where To Watch: (Purchase or Rent) Amazon Prime, Vudu, Movies Anywhere, Demand

4. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. 

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Anyone who’s been around Marvelous Geeks since its early days or anyone who knows me personally knows how much I’ve screamed about this film in the past. (Raise your hand if you were lovingly bullied into watching it and loved it.) The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is still the G.O.A.T — a trope-y, gorgeous spy film that deserves a sequel more than any other film I’ve seen. “The film has it all and while my primary focus was on the heart, fans of action films still have a lot to role with — car chases, physical quarrels, motorcycle stunts, boats blowing up, etc. Point being, the film’s phenomenal — Guy Ritchie is notably admirable for keeping everything perfectly balanced. I’ve written about it and I’ve recorded a podcast, too. Like I said, G.O.A.T.

While every film has its flaws, the captivating cinematography and breathtaking performances play a vast role in creating an exquisite two hours of escape from reality. If you don’t pay close attention you’ll miss a great deal of beauty in the details and in retrospect, you’ll miss the entire drive of U.N.C.L.E. — the pristine humor mixed strategically with the emotions that encompass three people on a journey of finding themselves beyond the troubles they’ve individually experienced.”

Where To Watch: (Purchase or Rent) Amazon Prime, Vudu, Movies Anywhere

5. Cinderella (2015)

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Disney’s live action Cinderella starring Lily James and Richard Madden is now my go-to version of the classic adaptation. I find myself wanting to watch it over and over again never once getting tired of the remarkable message that courage and kindness are all we need to live a noble life. Kenneth Branagh’s directed feature is stunning, seriously, I could never get over the dress transformation scene and I could never get over the butterflies surrounding Ella in that moment. The film is a sweet adaptation of the classic story that focuses on innocence, beautifully putting someone as gifted as James at the forefront to tell a story through a kind of beautiful embodiment that’s as perfect as it gets. There’s so much warmth in James’ Ella and the chemistry with Madden is exquisitely moving. The story’s beauty lies in its colors, the transcendent tale of ashes to castles and goodness that focuses on heart above all things. It’s also a film that features one of the most replayed scores I own.

Where To Watch: (Streaming) DISNEY +

6.  Roman Holiday

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I tried extremely hard to keep this list limited to some of the happiest movies I know, but I’d be lying if I kept Roman Holiday out because despite the ambiguous, lonely ending, it’s always been a comfort film for me to turn to. I don’t know if there’s a soul out there who hasn’t seen Roman Holiday but if so, I’m envious of the fact that you’ll get to see the masterpiece for the first time. The film follows Ann, a lost princess (Audrey Hepburn) and suave reporter Joe (Gregory Peck) on an unlikely adventure in Rome that changes both their lives significantly. And while it ends as you’d imagine with the princess returning home, the notion that such magical days could exist with perfect strangers is an oddly comforting thought.

There’s something otherworldly and indescribable about the film — the last few moments of silence between Ann and Joe longingly glancing at one another is the first time I experienced the magic of exchanging dialogue with the absence of words. Hepburn and Peck were revolutionary in the stunning few moments as their characters reflected the immense gratitude of simply knowing one another, the secrets only they’ll ever share, and the great encompassing change that their acquaintance has had one the other. It was poetically moving cinematic magic and some of the best performances in film history.

Where To Watch: (Streaming) TUBI

7. Sound of Music

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I had to have at least one musical recommendation and Sound of Music is the most joyful one. (Followed closely by The Sound of Music.) Although if we can pretend that Christian and Satine get their happy ending, let’s include Moulin Rouge in the equation, too because Baz Luhrmann’s eccentric juke box is crazy fun before shit hits the fan. But Sound of Music is one of the few films on this planet where its four-hour duration works and I don’t want to tear my eyes out in the midst of it. Sound of Music is Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer at their finest as Maria and Captain Von Trapp — even if you haven’t seen the film, you’ve certainly heard those names. You’ve seen the clips, you’ve heard the tale, and you just know … the legendary duo were magic on screen together. The story of a jaded, lonely heart finding love in the type of woman who embodies the very emotion makes for one of the most beautiful tropes to exist. The catchy tunes like “My Favorite Things,” “Prelude / The Sound of Music,”  “Something Good,” and basically the entire soundtrack is deemed unforgettable for a reason.

Where To Watch: (Streaming) DISNEY +

8. Hidden Figures

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When I first heard of Hidden Figures, I imagined I’d love it, but I never anticipated it becoming a comfort film I’d find myself wanting to turn to. Hidden Figures is based on the story of now late Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson – the African-American women who’d grow to become prominent names in the STEM field. Katherine Johnson otherwise known as the human computer astronaut John Glenn trusted more than any machine to calculate their launches into space. Dorothy Vaughn and her management position that went overlooked despite her exceptional mind. And Mary Jackson, the engineer whose struggles to obtain a degree in the field despite being more qualified than her male coworkers. Hidden Figures follows the three women and their families in segregated America, showcases their acute struggles as women of color, and their triumphs as they prove just how deserving they are of the credit they aren’t due. Not to mention Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe put on some of the strongest performances that’ll leave your heart so incomparably full at the end.

Where To Watch: (Purchase or Rent) Amazon Prime, Vudu, Movies Anywhere

9. The Princess Bride

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There’s a shortage of perfect films in this world and The Princess Bride is without question one of them. “Once Upon a Time… Storybook Love”,  the exquisite track by Mark Knopfler is one of the most stunning pieces of music to exist in recent years. (Although the 80s aren’t recent, they oddly still feel so close. Just go with it.) The fairytale love story that follows Princess Buttercup and farmer boy turned Dread Pirate Roberts, Westley is fun, endearing, and joyfully memorable. Cliché after cliché written somehow poignantly never fail to get to me. I could watch the movie a thousand and one times but I’ll still cry at: “That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying “As you wish”, what he meant was, “I love you.” And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.” The Princess Bride essentially invented the notion of you can say I love you in a hundred ways without ever using the three words. The film has inspired countless fairytales that’ve followed it reiterating the fact that hidden gems are often the best part of cinema.

Where To Watch: (Purchase or Rent) Amazon Prime, Vudu, Movies Anywhere

10. Emma (2009)

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I had to have something by Jane Austen on this list and while it was incredibly hard to choose between BBC’s 2009 mini-series Emma and 2005’s Pride and Prejudice, I figured I’d add something that’s a bit longer than two hours to keep people occupied in light of social distancing. And let’s be real, mini-series essentially are films. BBC’s Emma starring Romola Garai and Johnny Lee Miller has and will always be my favorite version of Austen’s novel. It’ll always come first. The length of a mini-series allows for the story to be told in its entirety and then some following Austen’s presumably most disliked heroine (Except she’s my favorite.) on her quest to find everyone in Highbury love only to learn that where her own heart is concerned, love has always been right in front of her. Emma is full of incredibly nuanced characters, scandals, gorgeous scenic views, quick-witted remarks, adventures, and a whole lot of heart. Emma is the story of making mistakes and learning from them, failing then succeeding, it’s society’s good, bad, and ugly in a story that’s beautifully moving and always entertaining.

Where To Watch: Hulu

What are some of your favorite comfort films?

ByGissane Sophia
Check us out on Twitter@MarvelousGeeks_

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